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Galveston Spousal Support Lawyer

Galveston Spousal Support Attorney

Galveston Alimony

Have Questions About Spousal Support? Contact Us Today for a Confidential Consultation

At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, our Galveston spousal support attorneys are standing by, ready to protect your legal rights and financial interests. Our firm is committed to providing personalized and solutions-focused family law representation. Navigating a divorce can be challenging. Alimony is one of many complex financial issues that can arise. If you have any questions or concerns about alimony, we are here as a resource. Contact us at our Galveston law office today for a confidential consultation with a top Texas family law attorney. 

An Overview of Spousal Maintenance Laws in Texas

In the Texas state statute alimony is referred to as spousal maintenance. You may also hear it called spousal support. Under Texas Family Code Sec. 8.051, maintenance is defined as “an award in a suit for dissolution of a marriage of periodic payments from the future income of one spouse for the support of the other spouse.” Spousal support can absolutely be awarded after a divorce in Texas. With that being said, Texas has among the most strict alimony laws in the entire country. Courts can only award spousal maintenance when certain criteria are met. Further, the amount of alimony is capped by state law. Here is an overview of key points to know: 

  • Spousal Support Can Only Be Awarded in Certain Circumstances: In some states, courts have discretion to award alimony when “equitable” or otherwise deemed appropriate given the circumstances. However, that is not the case in Texas. State law mandates that spousal maintenance can only be awarded when specific conditions are satisfied. For spousal maintenance to be granted by a court, the spouse seeking support must demonstrate a clear financial need. Additionally, the spouse seeking alimony typically also needs to establish that they meet one of the following three criteria: 1) Marriage lasting longer than ten years, 2) Victim of family violence (last two years), or 3) Disability. 
  • Courts Can Assess a Wide Range of Factors When Determining Support: Once the eligibility for spousal maintenance is established, courts in Texas can assess a wide range of factors when determining the nature, amount, and duration of the support. Along with other things, these factors include, but are not limited to, each spouse’s financial resources, education and employment skills, age, physical and emotional condition, and the contributions made by each spouse during the marriage, such as homemaking, child care, and helping build the career of the other spouse. 
  • Texas has a Statutory Cap on Spousal Support: Texas law caps the amount of spousal maintenance that a court can order after a divorce. Notably, the law also restricts the duration of support. In Texas, monthly support cannot exceed $5,000 or 20 percent of the paying spouse’s average monthly gross income—whichever is lower. As for the duration, it is typically limited based on the length of the marriage. If you have any questions about how much alimony can be expected in your case, our Galveston family lawyer can help. 

A Divorcing Couple May Voluntarily Agree to More Flexible Terms (Contractual Alimony)

As noted above, Texas law has strict rules and regulations for court-mandated spousal maintenance. However, parties to a divorce retain more flexibility to come to their own alimony arrangement through a settlement. You will often hear this referred to as contractual alimony. Contractual alimony is effectively a form of voluntary alimony. 

Through an agreement, spouses can negotiate the amount, duration, and conditions of the alimony, which can exceed the statutory limitations on spousal maintenance. For example, a divorcing couple in Galveston may agree on longer periods of support. Alternatively, a divorcing couple in Galveston may opt for higher payment amounts that would be required (or allowed) by Texas law.

Why would a divorcing couple agree to contractual alimony that is in excess of what would be allowed as a maximum limit under Texas law? It depends entirely on the specific circumstances. Though, in some cases, it is a tool that can be used in conjunction with a more comprehensive property division settlement to resolve the case in a low-conflict manner. Our Galveston, TX spousal support lawyers are committed to helping our clients solve problems. 

We Handle All Types of Spousal Maintenance in Galveston, TX

Our family law team is prepared to handle the full spectrum of alimony cases in Galveston. Regardless of the situation that you find yourself in, we have the professional experience that you can rely on. Along with other things, our Galveston spousal support lawyers offer: 

  • Representation for Recipients: We provide representation for people who are entitled to receive spousal maintenance under Texas. Our approach is to thoroughly assess each client’s unique situation to argue effectively for a fair and adequate maintenance award. Contact our Galveston spousal support lawyer today for immediate help. 
  • Representation for Payors: We also represent clients who may be obligated to pay spousal maintenance. It is our objective to ensure that the financial responsibilities our clients undertake are just and do not impose undue hardship. We strive to negotiate fair, favorable terms. Contact our Galveston, TX spousal support lawyers for your confidential consultation. 
  • Help With Spousal Support Modifications: In Texas, an ongoing spousal support order may be subject to modification in certain circumstances, such as change in income, change employment status, or other major life events. For help with a modification case, contact our Galveston, TX spousal maintenance attorney today. 

Why Trust the Galveston Family Lawyers at The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates

Going through a divorce is complicated—especially so if there are issues related to alimony to resolve. It is normal to have a lot of questions about your rights and your options under Texas law. At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we have a record of proven, verifiable results in complex cases. Our family law team is proactive and committed to personalized legal advocacy. Along with other things, our Galveston spousal support attorneys are prepared to: 

  • Listen to what you have to say and answer questions about Texas alimony laws; 
  • Gather and prepare relevant financial documents and records to make your case; 
  • Represent you in any divorce settlement negotiations, including involving alimony; and 
  • Develop a comprehensive strategy to best protect your rights and your interests. 

Spousal Support: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Long Does Spousal Support Last in Texas?

It depends. The duration of spousal support in Texas typically depends on the length of the marriage. For marriages lasting between 10 to 20 years, support may be ordered for up to five years. For marriages of 20 to 30 years, support may extend up to seven years, and for those over 30 years, up to ten years. Though, there are exceptions based on the recipient’s circumstances. If you have any specific questions about the duration of alimony, our Galveston family lawyers can help. 

Can a Man Seek Alimony in Texas?

Yes. The family laws in Texas are gender neutral—and that includes the state’s spousal maintenance laws. Either spouse, regardless of gender, can seek alimony. The determination of spousal support is based on financial need and the ability to pay, not on one’s gender. Men who demonstrate a need for financial support and otherwise meet the state’s criteria can receive alimony.

Can Spousal Support Be Modified in Texas? 

Yes, spousal support can be modified in Texas. However, that is only true in certain situations. If there is a significant change in the financial circumstances of either party, such as a job loss, illness, or a significant increase in income, a modification may be warranted. Technically, either party can request a court review to modify the support amount. 

How Does Remarriage Affect Spousal Support?

It can. The remarriage of the recipient spouse is generally legally sufficient to lead to the automatic termination of spousal support. In other words, if the spouse who receives alimony gets remarried, it can be immediately cut off. However, if spousal support is structured as contractual alimony, the terms might differ depending on the specifics of the agreement. In contrast, the paying spouse’s remarriage has no direct impact on their alimony obligations. 

Is Spousal Support Tax Deductible in Texas?

Not anymore. As of the 2019 federal tax law reforms, spousal support is no longer tax deductible for the payor. Along with that, spousal support is no longer taxable income for the recipient. The new tax regulations apply to all divorce or separation agreements executed after December 31, 2018. It is important for people in Galveston to understand their financial obligations. 

Contact Our Galveston Spousal Support Lawyer Today 

At The Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, our Galveston spousal support lawyers are skilled, experienced advocates for clients. If you have any questions about spousal support, we are more than ready to help. Contact our law firm today to arrange your completely confidential initial appointment. From our Galveston office, we handle spousal support cases in Galveston County and throughout all of Southeastern Texas.